Lambert ready to move on after Theoklitos error
Paddy Davitt Norwich boss Paul Lambert yesterday labelled Michael Theoklitos' Gillingham disappearing act as a 'grave mistake'. Lambert has forgiven but not forgotten the Aussie's absence from the club's travelling party for the midweek Johnstone's Paint Trophy win.
Norwich boss Paul Lambert yesterday labelled Michael Theoklitos' Gillingham disappearing act as a 'grave mistake'.
Lambert has forgiven but not forgotten the Aussie's absence from the club's travelling party for the midweek Johnstone's Paint Trophy win.
The out-of-favour keeper has been fined by the City boss for missing the team bus but may still be left out in the cold for tomorrow's League One long haul to Carlisle - despite Lambert again being left with no alternative back-up to first choice Fraser Forster.
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“Michael has been disciplined internally by the club and that is the way it will stay,” said Lambert. “I had a chat with him and he gave me his reasons for what had happened and the one thing I will say about Michael is he is not a bad lad. Obviously it is something that he regrets. It was just poor timekeeping. I think its unprofessional full stop - whether it's Michael or whoever - you just can't do it. It's forgotten about as far as I'm concerned. I've spoken to Michael and we'll move on and see what happens.
“He'll possibly be in the squad for Saturday. I haven't made up my mind yet - that is my honest answer. We haven't got anyone else, though, Jed (Steer) is not training and Declan (Rudd) is obviously away with England U19s.”
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Theoklitos' no show on Tuesday forced Lambert into naming no substitute keeper on the bench against the Gills - but the Scot hinted he could tempt fate again.
“I would be prepared to go in without another keeper,” he said. “It would be a massive decision but it was the same the other night. As I stress, I haven't made up my mind yet. Michael knows what happened was wrong and I'm pretty sure he'll not do it again. He's been fine around the place since I came here. I've not had a problem with him and his attitude has been good. He knows it was a grave mistake and I'm pretty sure he won't do it again.”
Lambert confirmed Michael Spillane (hamstring) will not make the trip north but the Canaries' chief is cautiously optimistic skipper Grant Holt (calf), Darel Russell (neck) and Jon Otsemobor (hamstring) can all return after missing the Gillingham cup win.“We just have to see how all those boys are and monitor them over the next few days,” said Lambert. “Jon trained on Wednesday so with a bit of luck we might have him involved. Darel hurt his neck against Bristol at the weekend and Grant picked up a knock as well in the same game so its fingers crossed.”
Lambert is definitely without midfield compatriot Stephen Hughes after his late call up to George Burley's depleted Scottish squad for a Far East friendly against Japan.
The City boss admits Hughes' trip to the other side of the world is far from ideal timing after forcing his way back into the Norwich side this week following a recent foot injury.
“It's great for the lad of course and I wouldn't ever stop anyone going to play for their country because it's a great honour,” said Lambert. “When the call came Stephen wanted to go and it's a great boost for the club as well but of course it leaves us one body light. I thought he was doing great up until he got injured against MK Dons and then he has found it tough to get back in and don't forget he is another one who hasn't done much of a pre-season.
“I'm hoping he can get back to full fitness and pick up where he left off because he was playing well when he was in the team. George has obviously had a few call offs but it's still a nice one for the lad to be involved. It is a long, long way to go though. I've been there myself and its tough. You have to adjust when you get there and then adjust when you come back. There's no doubt about it, it's a long journey just to play one game.”